So, last week I hit on the topic briefly of rescuing old wigs. I am attaching a copy of my success wig here. It came out soft, shining, and ready to wear. Sadly, my other rescue came out much like it went in—clumpy and dead. I treated them both the same, and they were about the same age. Sadly, the blonde one is no longer with me. But in the end, it was a good thing. It was time to let that shade of blonde and that style go. How about you? Are you at that place where you are hanging on to old styles and colors long after you should have let them go? How do you know when it’s time? Because in addition to the obvious wig aging there are other reasons to let that wig go. So, what are the indicators that you are holding on to something that is doing you no favors?
But wait a minute, let’s take a step back before we start tossing old wigs. Do you have wigs that you might like to try to revive? Should you spend the time and resources to rescue your old wigs—in other words--should they be rescued? The short answer is yes, if that wig can be made wearable again, then it is worth trying if only to sell it or donate it. Sometimes it really is time to move on, but that wig might be perfect for someone else.
Have you stopped actually “seeing yourself” in the mirror? Psychologists tell us that we do one of two things most often in this regard: we look but don’t “really look” because we think that we already know what we will see. Or we look too much, too closely, criticizing every part, angle, perceived flaw. Either way, we are not really seeing ourselves as we are, or as others see us.
Have you had those mornings when all at once you do look in the mirror, really look, and wonder where the heck that line came from, that discoloration, and why is your skin so….whatever. You know what I mean. Change is often slow, and when the accumulation of it is finally enough, we notice, and we are shocked. But if we had really been looking, we would have seen it in progress. But we are busy humans and who has time to stand in front of the mirror and look at themselves all the time? And therein lies part of the dilemma as to why one day we do look in the mirror and wonder why we ever bought that wig in the first place. The style, the color, doesn’t seem to be you anymore—sound familiar?
Wigs are even more of a challenge than coloring and cutting bio hair. First, they cost more, and you hope the relationship will be a long one because it doesn’t grow out if you have made a mistake. So, we are afraid of making a mistake, and because of that we often default back to our old styles and colors, trying so hard to get something “close to what I had before” and we think that is a good thing. It is not always a good thing. Maybe you have lost weight, gained weight, gotten older, gotten less or more sun, and you need to make new decisions about what looks best on you—now. Here is when I say to you—please do not ask a friend or family member. A good friend or family member will want to tell you the truth but often won’t because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. So, it puts them in a bad spot of wanting to be honest and helpful while not making you angry or hurting your feelings. Just don’t do it unless they are a professional hairstylist or wig expert who can step back and give you an unemotional opinion. Or maybe it’s something as simple as your taste has changed or your lifestyle. Maybe you retired, or work from home now and can be less structured in your life, including your look. Maybe you like short wigs for summer and want to take things up a notch with new styles or lighter colors. Don’t worry about trying to copy your old styles. There are many styles that look good on many people. The wig companies know that and that is why there are so many bobs of different lengths and short boy/pixie cuts.
When a friend of mine got a new wig (a first wig) and asked my advice I cringed (for all the reasons I stated before) but also because it made her look ten years older. Suddenly, she looked like her mother, and it was the wig—color and style. Both wrong for her, and I had to tell her. I asked her to try on two of my wigs to see the difference in how she could look to make my point that there were wigs for her that would work. I loaned her the one of mine she liked best and she forgave me for telling her that her new wig made her look older. She was able to swap it out, and she learned a good lesson.
The moral of my story is don’t be so intent in reviving your old wigs that you can’t see it is time to move on. Some might work, like one of my two that I worked on, (the success is pictured below) but if they were put in the closet, it is often for a good reason. Trying to revive an old wig can be frustrating and time-consuming because success can depend on so many things: age, wear and tear level, general care, type of fibers, and style. The one that I was able to rescue was in great condition because I had just stopped wearing short wigs for some time and had put it away (and had forgotten about it) before it had suffered much abuse. It just needed some TLC. Sadly, the other one had seen better days. Is it time to revive it for ourselves, or time to sell or donate? Rescue or toss season at my house seems to happen in the spring, even for wigs!
This RW wig (I think it is Sparkle—lace front, mono top and so comfy) was in a box for YEARS! I washed it, conditioned it, and let it dry. The next day I shook it and added a bit of water on it just from my hands. And now I have a like-new short wig for the summer!
So, until next week when I will be writing about wig fibers, if I can get all the information that I want on time. Otherwise, I will talk about wigs for the summer, and how to stay cool. Can you go band-less, glue-less, and cap-less all summer?
Our Old Wigs – or what was I thinking and why do I still have them?
I went on a wig hunt this week—inside my own closet. I retrieved a dozen or so boxes of wigs from the area in my closet where I kept the “maybe someday” things. You know what I mean, like those jeans that used to fit, and I might get back into them “someday” maybe. In the case of wigs, these were from my earlier still learning days. And as tried them on one at a time, one thought kept going through my mind—what was I thinking? I must have thought they looked good at one time, but now, not so much. So, what happened?
Most of us are all pretty hard on ourselves, very critical of every perceived flaw, and I am no exception. But I think that when I first started out wearing wigs, I didn’t know what to expect, and what looked good (meaning believable). I think I was more concerned with that than comfort, finding the right color or style. I didn’t know how comfortable they were supposed to be, nor did I understand much about caps and how they were made or supposed to fit. I picked a few that looked good on the model, and well, lived with them. We all go through a rookie stage, and I think mine lasted through a half dozen wigs at least, maybe more. We live, we learn, we make corrections, and that includes buying wigs. So, maybe we should give ourselves a break about it, especially starting out.
Out of the dozen, I removed from my closet, only two were worth trying to salvage. I am going to see if I can bring them back to life this week. They are totally different in style and color so it will be interesting to wear them again if I do manage to rescue them. I have learned a lot about caps, fit, style, colors, and what works best for me now. So, when I shop for a wig now it is pretty easy for me to put my own filters on before I begin the shopping phase. I know what I want: mono top or mono part at the minimum, lace front, and heat-friendly fibers. I don’t have the patience for human hair care, and I don’t have the talent to style them as I would like, so synthetic works best for me. But I do like the look of human hair and I get that much easier in the heat-friendly fibers. Knowing that I am free to look at styles and color and that makes it easier to shop. Now that I don’t go to an office and see the same people every day, I am free to wear different wigs out and about. Before I didn’t discuss wigs with people I worked with but that locked me into wearing the same wigs all the time.
As I tried on my old wigs, I tried not to be so hard on myself about how they looked because after all, they had been boxed up for some time. Also, I have aged, I am paler now after the lockdown, and that is not a good look under the harsh bathroom lights. But I did have to keep wondering—what was I thinking when I bought them? I can’t answer that, but I also wondered why I kept them after looking at the condition some were in. Clearly, I liked them enough to wear them a lot! In the end, I decided it was the same as looking back at anything, your clothes from years ago, old picture of yourself in different hairstyles, shoes, whatever. Wigs are the same. We pick them for many reasons, and it seems right at the time.
If you have some old wigs put away that should be taken out and donated or revived or tossed – do it. They are serving no one in the closet. It is like the clothes rule, if you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it. You will feel better afterward, I promise.
What I need to buy now is not more wigs, but some good products that might help me revive two. I have put a link below to some of the products that I will be trying on my two rescued wigs I will post pictures of them in my next blog if I am successful. Wish me luck. One is a short one that I would love to wear this summer, so I have high hopes for that one. The other is a chin-length, straight bob-style in an unflattering color—which I wasn’t aware it would be at the time I ordered.
So, until then, see if any of these products might help you rescue a wig, or maybe make your current favorites last much longer. If we care for them, they will not be sent to the toss pile too soon. Oh, that conditioner and conditioning spray looks promising!